Dubl J – Full Contact

The west coast kept it simple in the nineties you were either mobbin with that straight lace smash danked out dark vibe or you kept it funking with the feel good chill laid smooth playa summertime vibe. It was a good time with good music but for every known artist there were probably just as many unknown’s trying to make good music. Oregon was no different at the time drawing influence more so from either the west or the east due to the Mecca’s they were building. While independent artists really bubbled in the nineties it wasn’t really until the turn of the century that a lot of artists really felt like they had what it took as well. Dubl J was an artist coming out of Portland with his Platinum Penny Productions label when he released his “Full Contact” album. Lyricism is one of those things they use these days to really set artists apart but back in the days it was not as important. Dubl J like a lot of west coast artists relied on just being able to go hard on a beat. Let the mobbed out sounds do their job and he would compliment the rest by just telling his story with a catchy hook for the songs given occasion. As simple as the beats were back in the day we loved them and Dubl J along with Patrick Brewer did all the beats with features coming from Cach, D-v-iss, Ru, No dozz, plus Lee Lee.
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Bosko – Bombay & Passin Time

In the nineties everyone wanted to be from the west coast the sunshine and palm trees portrayed in music videos made it look like a different kind of paradise. The upper west now more often recognized as the northwest drew instrumental influence from these artists. During this time a label was trying to take the thought of good music plus good business to put their own city Portland on the map when Cool Nutz and Bosko founded Jus Family Records. While the label had its share of releases in the early nineties things did not really pick up until the mid to late nineties when the label signed some of the better local talent and released several albums plus compilations. Bosko at the time was kind of the in house producer for the label but also was starting to get a buzz with his production outside the label. Round 1995 Bosko released a single for a new sound he was creating called “Bombay” and even garnered a deal with Big Beat Records who had been responsible for the success of quite a few artists over they years. While always recognized for  his production Bosko has always been that multi-threat from rapper, writer, producer, and go to for some of the best talk-box work. Though the full album never materialized his success has never halted. Bosko has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and still continues to do so giving the Northwest a figure to look up to.
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Pimpin & Panderin – Unlimited Game

Believe it or not Portland has a rich history of the pimp trade and has had its share of coveted pimps. Covered nationally on media outlets it is often a frequent occurrence in the northwest and is probably happening daily without general knowledge. Rap has always been one of those platforms where street trends are commercialized but oftentimes fake vs real is actually happening. When it comes to rap and pimpin a few solid names come to mind but a group coming out of Portland called Pimpin & Panderin took it to a whole new level with their album “Unlimited Game” which was released in 2003. Pimpin is nothing new when it comes to the rap game as we know but often more used as satire and imagery. Difference with this Portland based group consisting of members Million Dollar Mouthpeice, Playboy Day The Mayor, MacDezie, and Suave P The Pimp is their whole album is talking about nothing but pimping. Macking, sex, prostitution, playing your position, pimping, breaking hoes, hustler, mack daddy, and you get the rest this is pretty much what you envision when you hear the word pimp. Produced by Sporty, DJ Chill, Mad Zagg, C Anthony, and many more.
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Qrewshall Game – Game Time

Portland was really trying to put on back in the 90’s even into the 2000 era the city had its fair share of groups and labels taking notice not just in their locale. Labels like Jus Family, Green Leaf, and 2 Real Records all had established themselves with solid releases during this time period. More of a wildcard group in terms of recognition but definitely worth mention was Qrewshall Game which was made up of three members Flossy, T-Hogg, and J-Lin. They released two group albums as a collective with their debut “Game Time” dropping in 2000. The album mostly recorded in the late 90’s maintained that west coast macking mobb sound that was influenced due to in house production from T-Hogg who also contributed heavily on the vocals for several songs. Torry Ward also produced as well as features from long time Portland vet Mackin Rob and Ms Devious.
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Candidt – Dookiebraid Soul

An artist assuming that his music is going to be cherished decades later is always a forethought and fifteen years later Candidt is bringing nostalgia back with his 1996 release “Dookiebraid Soul”. As a fan once your hooked you tend to want to hear everything by an artist whether its new or old and artists knowing this are becoming more receptive to making their older material readily available. Surprisingly enough Candidt voice wise sounds near the same as he does these days though his all around artistry and sound is heavily improved. More construed for the era while more potent lyrically the music featured darker and harder west coast vibes with production from MAS, Daveey C, and K Boogie. You get features from Moe B/DeeAle Of DMS, Brotha Brown, Wojack, Momz Connie Sue, Tishauna, Trina B, and many more.
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D Love – Show Me The Money

The g-funk era ruled the west coast in the nineties and like follow the leader near every artist was mimicking some form of the sound. A lot of Washington based artists followed in succession making some great albums of their own during the time period. Like many artists who prefer to keep their alias simple D. Love was an artist coming out of Washington and his moniker was short for his actual name of Dwayne Love. Used to a ample amount of songs when a album is released these days an artist from the past usually kept shorter albums. D. Love’s solo album “Show Me The Money” showcased that golden west coast sound which was produced entirely by local production legend D.J. Eugenius with appearances from B-Flat, Spy-D, and Baby-G.
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PDII – Flavin In Bumpcity

Seatown Seatown!!! That’s what PDII was yelling as one of the early pioneers of the Seattle rap scene. Preaching the motto “Be True To Your Hometown” the two man group was made up of MC’s Willin (Seatown Mack) and 2Smooth (Groove Munipalator) who would release their 1992 album “Flavin In Bumpcity” on Bump City Records. A popular year in Seattle history it was the same year Sir Mix A Lot would release his “Mack Daddy” album which probably had everyone in Seattle feeling like they could be the next big thing. Like many of the other early Seattle releases it was recorded at Michael Lord studios and  produced by JRod and 2 Smooth for Illicit Productions with additional guitars/keyboards by Greg Fields.
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Nomad – Windy City Hustle

Nomad later adding the alias “Da Nomadic” was an artist who relocated to Seattle after originally spending time in Chicago. Thinking his music stuff really took off once he arrived in the emerald city and it was perfect timing as the nineties spun off a lot of hip hop compilations in t he city. Most notable fans probably remember his song “Sadistic Flow” which appeared on the Classic Elements compilation which also featured a ton of other pioneering Seattle talent. Unbeknownst to most he released a project in 1996 titled “Windy City Hustle” which featured two songs. Production on the two songs was handled by Mr Supreme of Conception Records and you also get a early Jake One appearance on the title track. Nomad would go on to release several vinyl projects over the years on his 360 Degree Entertainment as well as his only known solo “Art Of The Griot” in 2006.
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Narcotik – Intro To The Central (Deluxe Edition)

While the outreach of the average music release never bounds past city limits even in today’s day and age, imagine the nineties. Now considered history those who lived it are able to re-tell and look back on a time that really wasn’t long ago. While its probably no different in the eyes of today’s youth most of us who were born in the eighties and raised in the nineties saw a timeless period for music. It was a period in which some of the best music was and will ever be made. Like the regions talent the northwest does not get enough credit for the history of artists who laid groundwork for others to be able to do what they love today. Narcotik was a two man group from Seattle which was made up of Tizzy T and C-Note. A gem is their 1995 release “Intro To Da Central” which like many other lost Seattle releases are finally getting due praise. Association with Tribal Productions was almost the best co-sign you could get at this time plus production from Vitamin D and DJ Top Spin was sure fire. Fifteen plus years later C-Note now known as The Note brings a re-release of the classic project for everyone to appreciate. Though it may be on the heels of the recent tragedy that took Tizzy T’s life its important to understand that those of us who have love for this art form felt a blow like we lost one of our own. Those who were able to be touched by his music feel endearment and appreciation while others can get a taste of what Central life was like for these two youngsters.
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Unexpected Arrival – Unexpected Arrival

A decade later who would of thought the artist now known as Neema would still be at it. 2001 was a different time all together when it came to music and to his credit he was ahead of his time locally. A two man group initially Neema was more of the forefront and was bringing a uptempo pop/rap sound that had not really been introduced yet. Maybe not understood initially music was at a transitional point with powerful indie labels kind of dying down and newer artists like Nelly, Eminem, and Ludacris emerging. Reflecting and hearing these songs today you may have a bit more appreciation due how music has evolved. While the debut album from Unexpected Arrival is nowhere near a classic certain songs like “Take Control” and “Julie” have there lasting effects for fans. One of the first to break the radio barrier locally gaining airplay the hustle still continues all these years later. Grown as a artist you can check out other projects from Neema including “My Life For Sale”, “The Essence”, and “Black Roses”. Production on the debut album was handled by Undercaste Studios, Kraneum, and Noah Mass.
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